Saturday, 12 February 2011

Nice SOLO rules for Song of Blades Games

I found these rules on the Yahoo group for solo playing Ganesha Games Song of Blades games. They are not my work and i am not claiming that they are but they are too good not to share.

As always enjoy!

These rules for solo play have been taken from oMAD blog. A quick overview is as follows, but i do recommend you check the blog, link:
I must now give credit where it’s due. This system to randomize the activation roll was not created by me but by Mr. Timbo75 from Tim’s Wargaming Stuff and left in a comment on a post from the month of May 2010. It’s quite elegant and simple. You take 3 different colored dice and give them a priority rank. For example, I use green, blue and red and consider them in that order. Now you take a 3 sided die, which is usually a d6 with two 1s, two 2s and two 3s or you can simply use a regular d6 considering the following: 1-2, one, 3-4, two, 5-6, three. Roll them all together and the first thing to do is look at the fake d3. This die will tell you the amount of actions the figure is going for. Now check the rest of the dice to see which ones beat the Quality rating of the figure. Be mindful of the priority you gave them. An example will show this clearer.
I roll the dice and get 2 (d3), 4 (green), 1 (blue), 6 (red). Figure’s Quality is 3+. Since the d3 rolled a 2, that means we will only check the first two dice. Given our priority, we discard the red die. We keep the green and blue, giving us a success and a failure. We use the single action for the figure and go onto another from the same side.
This time I roll 3 (d3), 2 (green), 1 (blue), 5 (red) for a similar figure. I will get to use all three dice, and I’ve got two failures and one success. The figure will carry out its only action and since it has two failed rolls play passes to the other side.
It’s actually harder to explain than it is to execute. Now, how do I apply this to my games? There are two ways normally used in solo gaming. One is giving both sides to the “AI,” in this case using the aforementioned system for both forces. The other one is letting one side act randomly while the other is played normally. For this game I prefer to have one side under my complete control. I do however roll to see which force I will be “using” before play.
Now I have my randomized activation roll, but what to do with the figures? A popular approach is to have the automated warband be in a defensive stance, and the actual player’s force in the attack. Personally, if I were to do this, I would not even need a system for them, since most choices would be pretty obvious. I rather device a scenario with very clear objectives for both forces, preferably different goals. And if one of the sides is going to be mildly in the defensive I rather have it be the one I am playing. This way the automated enemy’s choices become more entertaining, making you make the most of what you’re given by the randomizing system.
SoBH lends itself perfectly for campaign play as well. The warband upgrades are fun things and if you keep them on your “real” warband, so to speak, they can grow and change from battle to battle. It’s a game that lets you pit your guys against a horde of goblins, then against a single dragon with its wizard master, and then maybe go underground for some ruins exploration with the weirdest enemies. It’s not a competition game and I believe it can create good narratives, specially playing solitaire, where you can focus on your characters alone and every battle is uncertain.